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God is With Us | Matthew 1:18-25 | Dec. 18th Gathering

Read Matthew 1:18-24 & Luke 2:1-14

Why do we celebrate Christmas? It is busy, it is full of shopping, gift giving, gift receiving, large dinner gatherings, awkward friend and family moments, sad moments of missing those we love, joyful moments of being with those we love, convicting moments where our mistakes can rise to the surface, Candlelight services, Sunday morning services, guilt for not wanting to go to church and just rest…

Christmas is busy and it is sad how busy it gets.

Why do we celebrate Christmas? It is simple. It is a celebration of an all-powerful God giving himself to humanity as a human person in order to save humanity from their sin, from their eternal damnation.

1. We Celebrate Christmas to celebrate the fact that Christ has saved Us From Hell. Christ has walked among His creation, and gave His life, to save humanity from our sinful nature.

-What God did is impossible and inconceivable from our perspective. He planned it from the beginning of time as He knew that His creation would rebel against Him. We see this in Isaiah 7:10-16

“10 Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; [j]make it deep as Sheol or high as [k]heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” 13 Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a [l]virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name [m]Immanuel. 15 He will eat curds and honey [n]at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. 16 For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken. “ – Isaiah 7:10-16

-The Christmas story and season must be a “signpost” for our lives. We must use this time to reorient ourselves under Jesus. This word “Sign” is important because this is why God gave the prophecy to Ahaz in the first place—it is a sign for Ahaz to be given hope, joy and peace so that it can install a greater faith for God in Ahaz.

-Jesus is OUR sign to remind ourselves of God’s hope, peace, joy, grace and power. It reminds us of the one true Gospel-the fact that we deserve enternal death and hell but God has SAVED us from that. HE has the victory. It is everything He did, the impossible and nothing we have done. Thank God for this because we could not achieve what God has already achieved.

-WE make our faith into art museums filled with beautiful imagery to impress everyone including those who are the closest to us. Christ’s birth is everything but filled with beautiful imagery. It is gross, Mary and Joseph get their reputations ruined, Herod starts a baby killing spree, Mary is given a child she didn’t expect and didn’t want, it goes against everything that we truly care about in our worldly/western culture. However, it is very intentional by God to show us that God cares about our hearts, he cares about the dirty, the secrets that no one sees. In those secret places Mary and Joseph worshiped and obeyed God; they were filled with joy, bound to God as slaves because they knew that God was all they truly needed.

“For nothing will be impossible for God. And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” --Luke 1:37-38

“But the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a SIGN for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” --Luke 2:10-12

This is what Christmas is all about. It is about Jesus and the power of God’s glory. The simple fact that God’s glory shines through those who believe in Him because Jesus came down to us. The fact that our brokenness does not hinder God’s working—it’s not about us, it’s not about our performance for God, it is about what is deep within our heart for God. You can perform all day without actually believing in what you are performing (this is called acting) Turn to God, Repent, His death and resurrection on the cross was an unjust gift given to us so that we can saved from the penalty of Sin—death. He has given us LIFE, He has given us HOPE, He has given us JOY, He has given us PEACE.

Just like Isaiah prophesied and Matthew re-iterated

“Behold, a virgin shall be with chld and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God With Us.” --Matthew 1:23.

God is with us. God is living. God is saving. All we need to do is start believing and accept this free, peace-filled gift.

1. Turn to Jesus. We Celebrate Christmas to celebrate the fact that Christ has saved Us From Hell. Christ has walked among His creation, and gave His life, to save humanity from our sinful nature.

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